Bovington Stages Rally - Furzeland Dominates
2:13pm 19th March 2013
Twelve months on from having victory robbed from them on the penultimate stage Steve and Yvonne Furzeland were determined to makes amends on the fifth running of the Bournemouth and District Car Club organised Bovington Stages. The Damp conditions failed to hinder the Plymouth duo in their Subaru Impreza WRC S12 as they became embroiled in a battle with Martyn and Dawn England with their Mitsubishi Evo9 RS.
Quick out of the blocks on the first stage at the tank testing ground at Bovington Camp near Wareham, the Subaru husband and wife team forged an advantage of twenty-one seconds on the initial eight miles of competition to head up the Mitsubishi Evo6 of Antony Wilmington and Andy White. The local crew were to suffer dramas on the following test when they made heavy contact with the stage furniture at a chicane and then blew a turbo before completing the stage. On their second visit to the stages Ross Daniels and Paul Mankin claimed the fastest time, stopping the clocks at 8 min 32 seconds in their Impreza, just one second ahead of the England Mitsubishi, whilst Furseland could only claim a sixth fastest time but retained a healthy advantage of twenty seconds which over the last two stages of the day was expanded to thirty-nine seconds. The second place Mitsubishi did not benefit from such a comfortable margin, a mere seven seconds ahead of Daniels in third place.
The second day of the event dawned grey and wet with occasional sleet showers. Time for England to attack. Unbeknown to the Tauntonian his cause was to be aided by problems with the launch control on the Furzeland S12. First run of the day netted England a fastest stage time, some twenty-nine seconds up on the event leader. The lead now reduced to ten seconds. The 10.30 miles of stage six saw the Mitsubishi crew post another fastest time but this time only nine seconds faster than their main adversary with the overall advantage remaining with Furzeland but now amounting to just one second.
Those looking-on wondered if the tables were about to be turned at the top of the leader board. The hard charging England had the lead within his grasp but a lock-up under braking at the water splash led to a moment of aquaplaning and the Mitsubishi found its way into a ditch which would cost a total of thirty-nine seconds. Coinciding with this error was the return to full health of the Subaru of Furzeland which was a further fourteen seconds to the good on the completion of stage eight and a total of one minute and forty-two seconds as the rally concluded after ten stages.
Behind the top two the fight went down to the wire. Going into the final stage the Escort crew of Josh Payton and Marcus Mizen seemed to be destined for the third step of the podium but a top three finish was denied them by Ross Daniels who employed a ‘maximum attack’ approach to the final test to take eight seconds off of the Ford duo and snatch third place by five seconds.
Sherborne driver Andy Vickery and co-driver Ray Callaway claimed the victory in the up to 1300 c.c. category in their Skoda.
1st. Steve Furzeland/Yvonne Furzeland (Subaru Impress WRC S12. 1998 c.c.), 1hr 25 min 36 sec
2nd. Martyn England/Dawn England (Mitsubishi Evo9 RS 1998 c.c.), 1hr 27 min 18 sec
3rd. Ross Daniels/Paul Mankin (Subaru Impress 1993 c.c.), 1hr 28 min 55 sec
Upto 1400 c.c.
1st. Andrew Vickery/Derek Calloway (Skoda 1300 c.c.) 1 hr 50 min 56 sec
1401 .c. to 1600 c.c.
1st Josh Male/Aubrey Bage (Honda Civic 1598 c.c.) 1hr 32min 52 sec
1601 c.c. to 2000 c.c.
1st. Josh Payton/Marcus Mizen (Ford Escort 2000 c.c.) 1hr 29min 00 secs
Over 2000 c.c.
1st. Martin Walters/Peter Guymer (BMW 325i 2500 c.c.) 1hr 31min 02sec
All Wheel Drive
1st. Andy Vey/Richard Fletch (Mitsubishi Evo IV 2000 c.c.) 1hr 30min 06sec